Circuit of The Americas™ christens new track with ‘First Lap Ceremony’

AUSTIN, Texas (Oct. 21, 2012) – Circuit of The Americas today began the final countdown to the 2012 FORMULA 1 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX by officially christening its new, Grade 1 racing surface with a “First Lap Ceremony,” featuring a collection of celebrity drivers, local dignitaries and VIP clients, and a sampling of the types of race cars that will compete at the Circuit during the 2013 motorsports season. The invitation-only event was presented by Pirelli, the exclusive tire provider for Formula 1™ racing, and featured members of the Lotus F1 Team.

It was a day of exploration and celebration at the premium sports and entertainment facility, which is nearing completion and will host its first F1™ event Nov. 16-17. The Circuit’s official ambassador—and former Formula One World Champion driver—Mario Andretti cut a black-and-white checkered banner that crossed the starting grid area before taking to the circuit in a Lotus 79 Formula 1 car—the very car in which Andretti won his World Championship. The anticipation on the legendary driver’s face was evident as he settled into the familiar vehicle, sped past the pit lane and raced up the steep, 133-foot climb leading to the Circuit’s signature first turn.


“It’s everything I expected and more,” Andretti said after his first practice laps. “The track is phenomenal. It has all the features that you are looking for, giving you the opportunity to overtake, while negotiating some tighter corners. You can tell a lot of thought has gone into it.”

Andretti, who is the last American driver to win the Formula One World Championship in 1978, relished the chance to check out the full circuit, which he did in numerous laps in a variety of cars. Andretti was originally scheduled to drive a modern Lotus F1 Team car, the R30, on the track; however, after technical issues were experienced during initial laps conducted by Lotus F1 Team test driver Jerome D’Ambrosio, the car was unable to run for the remainder of the day.

Following his time on the track, D’Ambrosio was excited about the Circuit and its main event, the FORMULA 1 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX, which gets underway in less than a month.
“It’s been a great day today. There’s a real buzz about the Circuit of The Americas and it was fantastic to get out on track to demonstrate the R30,” D’Ambrosio said. “It’s a very enjoyable layout with a couple of really good places for overtaking, some long fast sweeping ‘S’ corners, and some really good high speed changes of direction like ‘Becketts’ in Silverstone. It was a shame not to get more laps, as an engine issue meant we were unable to continue running, but I had enough time to get a really good feel of the circuit. It’s an enjoyable track for a racing driver and also fantastic for the fans as the viewing areas are very well placed; there should be plenty of action.

“The first corner is quite special and it will be interesting to see it when people are dicing for position in the race. Austin is a superb city with a great atmosphere, and I think the city will live around Formula 1 for the week of the Grand Prix and that’s something we all can enjoy; it’s really going to be something quite special.”

Circuit of The Americas™ announces Collective Soul and Clay Walker to entertainment during F1™ weekend

AUSTIN, Texas (Oct. 16, 2012) – Circuit of The Americas and TAG Presents LLC are pleased to announce the addition of well-known artists Collective Soul and Clay Walker to the lineup during the FORMULA 1 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX™ set for Nov. 16-18. Collective Soul will be performing at the Circuit on Saturday, Nov. 17, and Clay Walker will perform on Sunday, Nov. 18.
Hailing from the city of Atlanta, Georgia, American rock band Collective Soul shot to international fame with their 1993 release Hints, Allegations and Things Left Unsaid, and their mega No. 1 hit “Shine.” After having been invited to the 25th Anniversary Woodstock concert, Collective Soul went into the studio to record their sophomore follow up. The self-titled Collective Soul, released in March of 1995, would be the album that would help define their sound of catchy melodies and guitar driven songs. “Tremble For My Beloved” found Collective Soul on the soundtrack to one of the hottest movies of 2008, Twilight.

Clay Walker Jr. is an American country music artist and native Texan. He made his debut in 1993 with the single “What’s It to You,” which reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks (now Hot Country Songs) charts, as did its follow-up, 1994’s “Live Until I Die.” Walker has released a total of 11 albums, including a greatest hits package and an album of Christmas music. His first four studio albums all achieved platinum certification in the United States, and his greatest hits collection and fifth studio album were each certified gold. In addition, he has charted 30 singles on the country charts, including four more No. 1 hits for a total of six: “Dreaming with My Eyes Open,” “If I Could Make a Living,” “This Woman and This Man” and “Rumor Has It.” His most recent album, She Won’t Be Lonely Long, was released in mid-2010.

“We are thrilled to add musicians of this caliber to our weekend of events at the track during F1 weekend,” said TAG Presents President Paul Thornton. “Austin is the Live Music Capital of the World™ so it was important to the Circuit to incorporate live music as part of the fan experience. These artists are an ideal addition to what is expected to be a weekend filled with incredible entertainment.”


Concerts will occur at Circuit of The Americas following the day’s on-track racing activities and will be included as part of the race fans’ experience. Collective Soul is set to begin at 4:30 pm on Saturday, Nov. 17 and Clay Walker will perform at 3:15 pm on Sunday, Nov. 18. Additional track entertainment will include multiple stages around various points on the track where local Austin bands will perform during the day on Saturday and Sunday, as well as a dueling piano bar located in the Grand Plaza.

Various stages scattered around the Circuit will include local artists performing throughout race weekend. These artists include Dame & Sahara Smith, La Guerrilla, Frontier Brothers, Uncle Lucius, and DJ QD. Details about these acts will be forthcoming.

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